Fracture IO

Client: One Show | JWT NY Studio: MPC

Fracture IO is an installation by MPC that re-invents the photo booth to create generative, 3D animated artwork based on the form of the human body. The piece made its debut in May at The One Show Awards celebration at the Bowery Hotel in New York. MPC was approached by JWT to create an innovative piece for The One Show, and the team relished the opportunity to update a process that’s remained relatively unchanged for the last hundred years.

The first step was looking at utilizing contemporary camera technology to create a new type of image. This was done via experimenting with ubiquitous off-the-shelf camera hardware, the Microsoft Kinect. By using both image and depth data, there was an opportunity to create an instantaneous high-res 3D scan – not just a 2D likeness, but a full 3D model of whomever was in the capture booth. Using a combination of computer vision algorithms originally developed for robotic navigation, the team stitched together the image and depth data from 4 Kinects into a complete, accurate 3D model of whomever or whatever was captured.

Captured geometry was utilized as the basis for dynamically generated artwork. An approach was developed that resulted in imagery that looks very different than the point clouds that have become synonymous with Kinect projects. Models were imported into a custom Unity application on the fly, where splines were animated along the contours of the mesh to define its form. Predefined color palettes were then applied to crystalline structures set to grow along those splines using same algorithms that govern crystal and organic growth in nature. Additionally, a new rack focus technique was developed to give the camera movements themselves life and depth.

Each artwork created was posted online with mobile-friendly, shareable unique URLs that allowed visitors to rotate the virtual sculpture in 3D space.